Offensive lineman Jon Dietzen started 32 games for the Wisconsin Badgers, but stepped away from the program after the 2018 season because of a number of injuries. The time away has given Dietzen new life. He’s returned to the program and is one of 113 players on the Badgers preseason training camp roster with practice kicking off on Wednesday.
Dietzen was prepared to return to the program last spring but the NCAA closed down all on-campus workouts because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dietzen (Seymour, Wisconsin) started 20 games at left guard and 12 at left tackle before leaving the program after a number of lower-body injuries.
UW has to replace center Tyler Biadasz, David Moorman and Jason Erdmann from last season and Dietzen’s return gives the Badgers more depth as well as a veteran presence on the offensive line.
Not on the training camp roster is starting safety Reggie Pearson. He started 13 of 14 games last season as a redshirt freshman and finished fourth on the team in tackles with 60.
Head coach Paul Chryst told reporters on Wednesday that Pearson is dealing with a medical condition that was discovered in the off-season. He remains enrolled in school but hasn’t been cleared to practice or play.
Pearson took over as a starter in week two last season, replacing Scott Nelson who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener against South Florida.
The Badgers will open the Big Ten season Oct. 24 against Illinois at Camp Randall Stadium.